Thanks to conservation work, we can still see the structure of one of the three mills. This belonged to the Malfanti family who ran it until it was abandoned in the 1930s. This mill had two driving wheels and one canal, not a very long one, dug into the rock and used for the adduction of water. Inside the building we can see a basin used for polishing barley.
Outside the building we find a press used to roughly break the chestnuts before milling them. The mill represented the fundamental transition between the products grown in the surrounding area into the essential food that satisfied the needs of the whole community. It also guaranteed the population's autonomy of production. In the old Castellany's statutes of 1473, we find many articles concerning the miller and milling, an activity that established itself into a monopoly and was put up for auction. All the neighbours were obliged to bring their products to the mill of the Castellany and have them milled there.
The wide footpath that leads down from the village and the recently restored arched bridge, the oldest of our territory, are also evidence of the importance of this building. During the first decades of the twentieth century, the miller bought the cereals in Lombardy and milled them at his mill in Sonvico. The mill had to close in 1932, when the town council decided to intercept the waters of the Franscinone upriver from the mill to strengthen the production of electric energy. In compensation, the Malfantis received an electric mill, placed in the village, which was in operation until after the end of World War II.
The Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
Stage 1: Well and "Riaron"
Stage 2: House of Reason
Stage 3: Graad
Stage 4: Cassinel
Stage 5: The mixed broadleaf woods
Stage 6: Geological oddities
Stage 8: The glade in the wood
Stage 9: The torrent Franscinone
Stage 10: Wash-house
Stage 11: The birds of the wood
Stage 12: The eroded valley of the Franscinone
Stage 12: Water and energy
Stage 13: The edge of the flood-level wood
Stage 14: Dairy farm for the processing of milk
Stage 15: Lime-kiln
Stage 16: The rural area
Stage 17: The Humid area of Canéed
Stage 18: The earth kiln for charcoal production
Stage 19: Terracing
Stage 20: Madonna d'Arla
Stage 21: The Chestnut Wood of Pian Piret
Stage 22: The Beechwood
Stage 23: The Boulder with Engraved Cupels
Stage 23: I Denti della Vecchia
Stage 24: R’Alborón
Stage 25: The Oratory of S. Martino
Stage 26: The old center of Sonvico
Stage 27: The Walnut Press
Stage 28: The Church of Saint John the Baptist
The Luganese Regional Bus Line covers the Lugano – Sonvico stretch; from Val Colla you can reach Sonvico, using the postal bus from Tesserete to Sonvico.